European Parliament Approves Controversial Data Act, Smart Contracts Face Termination Stipulation

In a historic move, the European Parliament has given the green light to the contentious Data Act, marking a significant development in the regulation of digital data within the European Union. The legislation, which passed with 481 votes in favor and 31 against, introduces a novel stipulation that mandates smart contracts to be capable of termination.

The adopted Data Act is poised to revolutionize the way data generated from smart devices is managed, offering users unprecedented access to the information they generate. The European Commission, a strong proponent of the Act, contends that a staggering 80% of such data collected from smart devices remains unused, emphasizing the need for a more accessible and user-centric approach.

A key element of the legislation that has stirred debate is the provision requiring smart contracts to be interruptible and terminable. Critics of the Act argue that the definition of smart contracts in the legislation is overly broad, lacking clear details on the circumstances under which interruptions or terminations should take place. Concerns have been raised about the potential implications for businesses and individuals relying on smart contracts for various transactions.

Despite these criticisms, the European Parliament remains resolute in its stance. The legislation is now slated for review by the European Council, composed of the heads of each of the 27 member states. For the Data Act to become law, it must garner approval from this influential body.

One of the central aims of the Data Act is to empower users by giving them control over their generated data, fostering transparency and accountability in the digital landscape. However, the smart contract clause has become a focal point of contention, with skeptics suggesting that the lack of specificity may lead to legal uncertainty and hinder the growth of blockchain technology.

In response to these concerns, the European Commission has clarified that the Data Act is not specifically targeting blockchain technology. Moreover, the Commission asserts that fears suggesting the legislation would render smart contracts illegal are unfounded. Despite these assurances, the debate surrounding the potential impact on blockchain and smart contract technologies continues.

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